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Russia, US top diplomats meet in Moscow
April 12, 2017, 11:26 am

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Moscow on 12 April 2017 [Image: MFA, Russia]

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed Washington plans more missile strikes against Syria, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held talks in Moscow on Wednesday.

Moscow believes it is important that the steps such as the US missile strikes on the Syrian airbase must not be repeated, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the meeting with Tillerson.

“Your visit is very timely,” Lavrov told Tillerson on Wednesday.

“Most recently, we saw rather alarming steps, when an unlawful attack against Syria was carried out. Russia’s leadership has already voiced its principal assessments in this respect. We believe it is of principal importance to prevent risks of a repeat of such steps in the future,” Lavrov stressed.

“We are always in favor of collective steps,” Lavrov said. “We do not consider any closed alliances and misalliances productive. It’s very important for us to understand the US position and real intentions of your administration. I hope to achieve progress on this path today,” the minister added.

Putin said on Tuesday that rebels were planning to stage chemical weapons attacks to provoke them.

“We have information that a similar provocation is being prepared … in other parts of Syria including in the southern Damascus suburbs where they are planning to again plant some substance and accuse the Syrian authorities of using” chemical weapons, Putin said.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has now claimed his administration has no further plans in Syria.

“We’re not going into Syria,” he said in an interview with the New York Post. “Our policy is the same; it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”

On Tuesday, Putin said “Syria and Russia, as a common enemy, provide a wonderful platform for consolidation” to the western community.

“Why is this happening? Everyone wants to restore relations in the Western community after many European countries adopted an anti-Trump position during the election campaign. Syria and Russia, as a common enemy, provide a wonderful platform for consolidation,” Putin said after meeting the Italian President in Moscow.

On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State are also slated to discuss the rising tension on the Korean peninsula.

Russia-US talks on Pyongyang underscores the increasing sense of urgency as tension escalates amid concern that North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.

 

 

TBP and Agencies

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